Cayenne, the capital of Guyane, is on a peninsula at the mouth of the river of the same name.
The department is known internationally for its space station at Kourou, from which over half the world’s commercial satellites have been launched. An unusual attraction is the remains of the former penal colony, notably the Iles du Salut, made famous by Henri Charrière’s book Papillon. Much of the country remains sparsely populated and two million hectares of the interior comprise the Parc Amazonien de Guyane which, with neighbouring reserves in Brazil, forms the world’s largest protected tropical forest.
Tourism is slowly being developed in Guyane, as in all the Guianas, with the main draws being ‘space tourism’ at Kourou, birdwatching and adventure trips into the forests.